KIMUNYA TO FACE PARLIAMENTS IRE OVER MISGUIDED TENDER DIRECTIVE
If he is found to have lied to parliament in what he said earlier to the house about the KAA tenders for the new runway and new terminals, he will be censored and has to be sacked said a member of Kenyas parliament to this correspondent in a communication received overnight, when trying to figure out the likely fate of Kenyas hapless transport minister Kimunya, which now hangs in the balance after stepping into the proverbial when trying to scuttle a Vision 2030 project in which President Kibaki has taken a keen interest.
Information gathered over the past days indicates, that Kimunyas mitigative reasons for his directive to cancel the tender and re-start the process, documented in a letter by his Permanent Secretary of 10th January this year, may be a pure afterthought and smokescreen, when he claimed that Kenya Airways had not been involved in the various design issues before tender documents were published. There is intense public speculation what personal reasons, possibly even vested interests Kimunya may have, to take the course of action he opted for. Yet, evidence has since been put into the public domain that Kenya Airways input into the design drafts has been incorporated last year, making it all but obvious that the minister misled parliament and the public at large.
A regular aviation commentator from Nairobi added Kimunya is no stranger to controversy and has been in trouble before. What is interesting is that as a member of President Kibakis PNU he goes against his boss when he must be aware how the President wants to leave a legacy and break ground on this project before his term ends. He [Kimunya] is even on record saying he does not care who breaks ground, really? His utterances that KQ was not involved have also been shown to be untrue. What motives does he have really when even the AG says the tender award is legal and must stand. And even the cabinet secretary reiterated that following a cabinet decision. Does Kimunya want to be sacked? And that all throws doubts over the future of JKIA as THE hub in East Africa. How often did you write about runway closures and traffic being diverted when we had an incident? And yet here is a man who claims that he knows better than everyone else?
Preparing the masterplan and tender documents according to another source in Nairobi cost the Kenyan tax payer over 2 million US Dollars already and the award of the tender was made after the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission, following a complaint from another bidder, investigated the process before then clearing KAA to proceed as planned. A contract was offered to Chinas Anhui Construction on December 16th last year before being formally accepted on December 19th 2011. Kenyas Attorney General has since then twice reiterated in formal legal opinions that the contract was valid and any attempt cancelling it would result in major justified claims against Kenya.
Other countries in the region are in the meantime pushing ahead with their respective airport projects, with Addis Ababa set to get a brand new international airport to take over from ageing Bole, while in Rwanda an announcement is expected any time from now about the start of the new Bugesera International Airport some 20 km outside the capital Kigali. Other airports undergoing renovation, modernization and expansion are Dar es Salaams Julius Nyerere International and the Kilimanjaro International Airport between Arusha and Moshi. Watch this space how the Kimunya saga plays out but be not surprised if sooner or later he will have to move from his ministerial limousine back into a ramshackle.